Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has released the following statement in the wake of the suspension of the Energy East pipeline project:

Our nation is beginning to move away from rational discourse on pipelines and Canada’s energy sector.

TransCanada is suspending, and perhaps cancelling, their application to build the Energy East pipeline. A project that would create 14,000 jobs, contribute $10 billion in tax revenue and boost Canada’s economy by around $55 billion - all from exclusively private sector investment.

The reasons TransCanada cites are quite clear: recent federal government changes to the National Energy Board process that would delay the project further and add “significant” costs as the federal government will now measure “upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions” before approvals are granted.

Will the federal government apply the same GHG test to every sector, including auto manufacturing? Or perhaps this is just about oil and gas.

The federal carbon tax is also cited as a consideration that may end up killing this project.

Whether people like the oil and gas industry or not, in a general sense, does not matter. Oil will continue to be necessary to our survival and way of life for decades, even as the world transitions to cleaner fuels. Canada has the third largest oil reserves on the planet. Yet we only sell our oil to one customer, the United States, because we can’t get it to tidewater.

That means Canadians are not getting full value for the resources they own, as we have to sell it at a discount.

So the world then relies on oil from countries with abysmal human rights and environmental records because we can’t get our act together to get that product directly to a global market.

In a world that needs oil, why shouldn't Canada be the leading safe, reliable, and sustainable supplier for that demand? The benefits are immense for our country in terms of jobs and quality of life that this industry pays for.

We need to have much more reasoned dialogue about the future of the energy sector in our country, and all that it contributes.

It is my hope that we do a better job of telling the story of this industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians, while providing billions to government coffers to fund our schools, hospitals and highways.

Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to help get Canada’s resources to market. Now is the time for him to exercise his influence and make good on that promise. Canada needs Energy East, and we need a Prime Minister to champion this project and see it through for the benefit of all Canadians.